In January 2008, the Governor's Office of Emergency Services established the Office of Access and Functional Needs (OAFN). The purpose of OAFN is to identify the needs of people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs before, during, and after a disaster and to integrate disability needs and resources into emergency management systems. The OAFN offers guidance to emergency managers and planners, disability and older adult service systems for planning and responding during disasters and recovery. View more information on
identifying people with access and functional needs.
According to the U.S. Census of 2010, approximately three million Californians over the age of five years have a disability. The OAFN goal is to strengthen the method and planning of emergency management for people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs.
Lessons documented from the years of assisting individuals with diverse disabilities and older adults (hereinafter referred to as access and functional needs) in disasters show three areas that are repeatedly identified as most important. They are:
Communications (alert, warning and notification)
Evacuation and Transportation
The diversity of disability groups and its leadership, and established emergency management systems, brings natural confusion for both, as to who are the leaders to engage and how to make meaningful change in planning, systems and operations. To learn more about lessons learned, please visit the
National Council on Disability.
Last year more than 9.6 million Californians participated in ShakeOut drills across the state. Participating is a great way for your family or organization to be prepared to survive and recover quickly from big earthquakes. Keep in mind that people with access and functional needs may have additional steps to take when it comes to planning for, and reacting to, disasters like earthquakes. Watch this series of informative videos that will help you consider what you or your loved ones needs are, and how to plan, respond and recover.
To better support planning and training efforts that address people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs, Cal OES developed a series of vignettes that demonstrate appropriate steps to take during an earthquake. These vignettes incorporate the key emergency considerations of people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs.